When the Five of Wands appears upright it often points towards a challenge that is eagerly sought after, and that which we relish: perhaps an opportunity has come up at work that we know will be difficult but that we’re also confident we have got the skills to complete successfully. We find ourselves eager to get started.
This may be a time of feeling energized, and confident that we’re ready for anything. Friendly competition is also suggested by the Five; the card gently reminds us, though, that however heated things become, to make sure we keep aiming for the Wands of our adversaries, and not to become so caught up in the battle that we risk causing them any real hurt.
The card can also point to situations where it can be beneficial to step back briefly from the hubbub: this doesn’t mean not engaging with a challenge, but just taking a moment to think about and assess what’s going on.
When it appears from the deck reversed, the Five of Wands suggests that the mood of the fight has shifted: what was a game has now become something else, and those engaged in it are intent on trying to inflict damage on their fellows. The reversed card can be a warning to keep the fire tendencies in check to prevent them from causing destruction and to resist letting a sense of bitterness or disillusionment creep into our daily lives and affect our dealings with others unnecessarily. The reversed card can also point to a lack of team spirit or a toxic environment, and the importance of removing ourselves from this situation, rather than becoming caught up in it.
Sometimes fire needs an outlet, and the Five suggests a way to expend that pent-up energy: through friendly competition, exuberance, and a focus on simple means of having fun.